Fortunately Berlin even has something very special to offer in Winter, long after Christmas markets have shut down.
Cinema lovers should experience one of the film industry’s most prestigious annual events: the Berlinale.
The Berlin International Film Festival was started in 1951 as an effort to bring back some of the vibe and culture of the city during the Golden Twenties. Bringing buzz to town for ten days in February (coming up: 5 to 15 February 2015), the Berlinale is Berlin’s largest cultural event. Numerous cinemas across the city, including the Arsenal, CinemaxX and CineStar host the films.
With over 300,000 tickets sold, 20,000 film professionals rocking up and around, 350 movies screened running for the coveted ‘Golden Bear’ award, this festival features the biggest audience of any film festival in the world. Needless to say, the Berlinale days in Winter will also make Berlin nightlife even more exciting, with clubs and bars filling up until the early hours.
The festival film programme features six sections, each one headed by a director who selects the films together with correspondents and other experts. The sections are the following:
Competition section: Those films, which still have not been released outside their country of origin, compete for the Golden Bear best movie award.
Panorama section: the emphasis is on independent and art-house cinema. These films are made in a personal, sometimes controversial style and are meant to foster a debate or discussion.
The Generation section presents lively cinema aimed at young audiences.
The Perspektive Deutsches Kino introduces international audiences to the latest developments and stylistic trends in the German film industry.The Berlinale’s most experimental section is the International Forum of New Cinema offering a sharper focus on experimental formats and “distant” film-producing countries. This section offers a chance to discover highly original, often provocative and disturbing cinema.The Retrospective section includes movies previously shown at the Berlinale. It is a special section for those looking for hidden treasures. The programme puts the festival’s contemporary films into a historical context, re-discovering classics and giving due homage to great film actors and film-makers.
The full programme of the next Berlinale will be released on 27 January 2015 at 2pm CET on this page.